Meet Sandra. She understands there is an art to sharing what you know.
And when you get it right, you can create a meaningful learning experience for someone.
It’s a wonderful feeling: engaging your audience, unpacking a concept for them with clarity and energy, imparting significant information and knowing your audience is learning, laughing, and transforming as they connect with you.
However, for most people, it’s not easy to shift from Knowing to Teaching. I’ve met countless entrepreneurs and business leaders who are brilliant at what they do. But they don’t automatically pull off that transfer of knowledge.
The truth is, it takes a great deal of planning, preparing and reframing to a) effectively share information (so it sticks, stays and transforms) and b) do it in a way that delights your audiences.
“Sandra designed and delivered a workshop entitled 'Designing Your Workshop'. As a CWB Member, Sandra was selected to deliver a CWB Power Lunch session. She was engaging and direct with participants, working to help them develop meaningful purpose statements and impactful learning objectives for workshops they are developing. Participants provided excellent feedback, noting that Sandra was clear, concise and professional in her planning and delivery of these sessions.”
Nora Perry, Business Development Officer, Centre for Women in Business
Learning can be – should be – transformational
That’s what I love about it. Although it took me a while to discover it.
My parents weren’t highly educated. In fact, my dad doesn’t have a high school diploma. And I was never a superb student. My parents are extremely proud that I got through university, but it sure didn’t come easily to me. I built a solid career in the not-for-profit sector and then stayed home to raise my kids. I never planned to go back to school, let alone devote myself to the art and science of learning.
But when I was ready to return to work, I thought about all the jobs I’d held and loved, and the one thing that felt most rewarding were those opportunities I’d had exploring program development and facilitation. I decided to get my Certificate in Adult Education.
Oh my god, I remember the first night in the program. I felt so out of place in this room surrounded by professional trainers and educators. The first few times I had to stand up to present, I was – visibly! - shaking. In fact, two of my colleagues tease me that they would have voted me most unlikely to make a career out of this. But I loved the program.
I loved the people, my instructors, and what I was learning. I had found my tribe, and my superpower. I applied for my Masters the following year. And now I’m teaching in the very program that had me shaking at the start.
I love everything about education – from choosing learning objectives, to segmenting information, to designing delivery and adapting for different learning preferences. I adore seeing an Aha! ripple across a room, or a stream of enthusiasm flood the comments of a webinar.
I want you to have that too.
Learning is an exhilarating, life-long journey
I’m still learning, and evolving. I’ve completed my M.Ed. in Studies of Lifelong Learning at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS, and have designed and facilitated training sessions for hundreds of participants. I’ve had amazing opportunities to lead training on million-dollar technology implementations working with many large professional firms. I’m also an instructor in the Certificate of Adult Education Program at the College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University.
And I continue to hone my expertise, study new principles and practices, meet mentors and approach life with a wide-open mind. I apply everything I learn to help other Subject Matter Experts learn how to share what they know.
One more story: On the day of my M.Ed. graduation, I was thrilled to strut across the stage in killer shoes (love my shoes!). After the ceremony, I introduced my favourite prof to my family – a prof who had great belief in my abilities and an absolutely inspiring teaching style. When he met my kids, he looked at them directly and asked them earnestly: ”Did you know your mom is a very smart lady?” It was confirmation that yes, this girl who struggled through school and discovered the magic in teaching to teach, was indeed very smart, and could inspire others who struggled. That moment was pivotal and cemented my path.